Our Why

Helping our younger selves is at the centre of all that upthegreatness does

"I have had friends, who are pursuing corporate paths, often comment that the work we do is so selfless, and so thoughtful, and so pure. Their comments make me chuckle because such words were not in my mind when I started this. My intention has always been for us to help the younger versions of ourselves

Through having this mindset, we are able to interact and relate with young people on a level that they can appreciate and learn from. The reason that we consistently go the extra mile with the pupils that we meet is because we know how much someone going the extra mile benefited our younger selves. In everything that we do, the young people are always first and foremost in our thoughts. 

In a way it is ironic, as our work is described as selfless yet, in my mind, I am always thinking about what would my younger self have benefited from? What would he be able to identify with? What would he value? So that I can then apply those answers when we are engaging with young people. Hence why I have previously joked that one person's selfishness is another person's selflessness.

Oluwani, upthegreatness founder

Giving back does not only have to be done post-career, one can give back during their career too

"I feel like the act of giving back is only made more valuable when you do it whilst you're on the rise as you are living and breathing everything that you're sharing with these pupils. When I say to a kid that the key to discipline is forming good habits and therefore suggest to them that they should go to sleep earlier; I share this advice knowing I am applying it to my own life right now. Currently we're in preseason, and I am trying to improve my Bronco [an aerobic fitness test] time so I'm sleeping earlier at night in order to complete an extra Bronco before training in the morning. 

Plus, giving back whilst my career is unfolding means that these students are able to grow with me. They are able to track my trajectory. They'll be able to say that I met Jonny before he was an international [rugby player] and now he has become one, I know what it took for him to get there.

Jonathan Benz Salomon, Bristol Bears & upthegreatness (core)